It’s as strange as it is tall, and it’s the tallest building in Bangkok, Thailand. The MahaNakhon tower officially opened to the public earlier this week to great fanfare (and a spectacular light show), and the 77-story, 1,030-foot structure is certainly something to see. Especially because it doesn’t quite look finished yet. But hey, that’s just part of the aesthetic.
The unique façade is the work of Büro Ole Scheeren, and the architect was clearly not at all shy about making full use of negative space. A spiraling series of boxlike balconies creates a memorable jagged look, but given the plethora of rather unusual buildings in Bangkok, the MahaNakhon seems strangely … in place.
Hospitality and retail spaces, bars and restaurants, and around 200 condo units under the management of Ritz-Carlton Residences comprise the new building. While it currently holds the title of tallest building in the Thai capital, it’ll soon be forced off its throne when the Rama IX Super Tower, which should be finished by 2019, arrives (or rather, rises) on the scene. It’s slated to be almost twice the height of the MahaNakhon.
All the same, Scheeren’s latest work is quite the architectural marvel, and the architect told CNN that its design and use of space is meant to “strike an ongoing dialogue with the city and capture its intensity.”
“I don’t believe in a very formulaic architecture where it’s essentially the same formal language that is applied to any part or place in the world,” he said. “If you look at my buildings, they are not all the same. They are different because different situations inspire and require very different answers.” And as for the MahaNakhon, it’s “a vision of a tower that is very much about process, about becoming, about developing.”
So if you should ever find yourself in southeast Asia, consider paying this tower a visit.
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